April 2, 2020

So I’m officially free of the meat-grinder and I’m feeling pretty good about things. I was a little worried that converting my LinkedIn account from my employer address to my home address would be difficult, but was able to accomplish it with a minimum of back-and forth between the home office and my business office. Today I’ll be officially filing for unemployment and will start up TGWS Consulting, my own business I plan to use for who knows what – if I want to stay in the IT industry it will be a perfect vehicle for doing so; if I want to go in other directions it might be helpful as well. My current plans for April are to use the month for strengthening my LinkedIn network and planting as many seeds as possible.

I must be pretty damned tired without knowing it: after opening the door for the electrician to begin work swapping out our main box (there was something overheating behind the circuit box), I laid back down and slept to noon – something I would (or could) never have imagined doing in my former employment situation! I’m just going to let my body tell me what it wants to do over the next month.

A pet peeve: all these celebrities and folks using John Lennon’s “Imagine” as some kind of anthem of hope. Anthem of hope? You’ve got to be shitting me! Granted, the melody is lovely, and I always found the video of Lennon’s performance particularly poignant with its movement from darkness to light. Yeah, I get it. But the words themselves are, to be brutally frank, the equivalent of dishwater – socialist, idealistic drivel that not even the most ardent socialist would ever be willing to ascribe to. Don’t believe me?

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today… Aha-ah…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

No heaven or hell? No religion? No possessions? Basically, what Lennon’s words are saying is there is nothing worth believing in. PERIOD. What kind of an existence would that be? I still remember hearing Lennon’s words when I first got the album back in 1971. And even then, at hearing Lennon’s plea to “imagine no possessions”, I remember myself saying, “you first, John”, knowing he had for himself quite the nice existence as a result of his Beatles existence.

…And that’s the same thing I say to all you liberals and progressives out there – most especially when it comes to climate change and all this “Green New Deal” bullshit. Me? I’ll believe climate change is real when I hear about all those Hollywood celebrities foregoing their carbon-burning private jets and limos. And I’ll believe your cries for open borders when you stop locking your doors at night and all those Hollywood celebrities forego their gated communities and walled-in mansions. It’s all so much bullshit.

…look, I’m no paragon of virtue by any means, but I’m no hypocrite. With The Great White Shank you see what you get.

Happened upon a video of Linda Ronstadt singing “It’s So Easy” back in her heyday and am reminded of just how great and versatile a singer she was. She literally could sing (and has) sung everything from country to pop to pop standards, to mariachi, to classical Cuban. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say she’s one of the greatest singers of our time. I don’t think she’s under-appreciated – lots of folks know how good she was – but I wonder if you’re sitting around a hotel room bed and, say, debating whether Steely Dan was a great band or not (they weren’t), if you were to ask those assembled to name the greatest pop singer of all time I wonder if anyone would mention Ronstadt’s name. I would say she would certainly consider merit.

…I still remember seeing her on the Boston Common back in the late 70s. She came out looking drop-dead cute (if there ever was a definition of cute in the Webster’s they would have had a picture of Ronstadt by it!) in a Girl Scout outfit and blowing away the crowd with that mother-f’in’ tight band of hers: Russ Kunkel on drums, Kenny Edwards on bass, Waddy Wachtel, Danny Kortchmar, and/or Andrew Gold on on guitar, Billy Payne on keyboards, and Peter Asher on vocals. These guys were not only the cream of L.A. musicians during the mid-to-late ’70s, but with Ronstadt hanging around the Troubador bar were ultimately for bringing the Eagles together.

…Ronstadt’s voice was a true instrument: she could sing it straight, falsetto, sweetly, and growl and purr almost effortlessly. What a treasure!

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